{Real Jewish Weddings} St. Paul, MN

Sean is a successful musician in the Twin Cities, and he also happens to run Trivia Mafia, a local bar trivia company. Rachel and her friend decided to start doing bar trivia as a way to get out of the house, and he was the host at Sunday night trivia at the 331 Club in Northeast Minneapolis. Sean and Rachel met and gradually started talking more and more, and then finally one day (10 months after she started attending trivia) he asked for her number. Rachel was so oblivious, she remembers thinking “I wonder what he wants that for?!” They dated for two years before they got engaged. Rachel knew he was going to propose, because they had talked about it and he told her he was driving to visit ner parents (in Fargo) to formally ask for Rachel’s hand. Then on a Sunday morning in October, he suggested they go out to Lake of the Isles and take a look at this boat race some of his friends were doing. He played it so cool that Rachel didn’t even suspect anything, so she went out in a hoodie, unshowered, with no makeup. Turns out there was no boat race; it was just an excuse to get her to go to that spot. Then boom, she turned around and he was down on one knee! He really managed to surprise her, which is no easy feat.

As a couple, one thing Rachel is really proud of is how much they work on communication. They try hard not to assume that feelings or needs “go without saying.” Sean is open emotionally in a way Rachel didn’t think men could be, which has allowed her to be more emotionally open (again, no small feat, since she’s pretty introverted).

Rachel and Sean are a perfect couple, and that’s no trivial matter!

Mazel tov, Rachel and Sean!

St. Paul Minnesota Jewish Weddings

For my dress, I didn’t want to feel pressured to look like what was trendy or expected. I went to Andrea’s Vintage after finding it online, and the staff there was amazing in helping me create and execute a vision.







Besides the actual ceremony, I really loved when we signed the ketubah (Jewish marriage contract). It was like a little mini-ceremony before the actual ceremony. We were all gathered together, just close friends and family, to see us sign the contract and for our parents to say some kind words. It was really special.










For the bridesmaids, I was 100% committed to asking them to wear something that they could wear again. I figured, a JCrew sweater will last forever and is always in style, and my friend found a pin on Pinterest that paired a cable knit sweater with a full tulle skirt. We both loved the look, and she offered to make them at cost, since she’s a skilled seamstress. I thought the navy blue color would look appropriate for fall, not clash with anything else, and be timeless.


Sean picked out the colors, which I liked and so we ran with it. We chose the library theme for the invitations and centerpieces/table numbers because we were in a library, so why not go with it? As for the chevron, we just thought that looked cool and unique. We didn’t particular like the idea of flower centerpieces, so we collected books from thrift stores and our bookshelves to put on the tables instead.

We just had honest conversations about what was important and what wasn’t that important, and what we really envisioned, and went from there. I tried my best to save money where I could. It was incredibly easy to get carried away, but I think I did a good job of editing.







My advice to brides: Have a real conversation with your spouse-to-be about how you envision your wedding day. Figure out what things are truly important to you and need the most brain space, and focus your energies on those. Remember that this is a big event for your parents, too! It’s not just your day; its theirs too. Ask for their input and keep them involved in the process as much as you feel comfortable. They will be flattered and there will be less conflict.

Don’t be afraid to delegate! Everyone has people around them who are willing and able to help, whether it’s with event setup, vendor research, makeup, snacks for the bridal party, etc. Your people are excited for you, and they would do anything to make the day go well for you!

A lot of the talk out there is about how it’s the bride’s special day, the bride is the queen, the bride is the one who calls the shots, and the groom is either unwilling or incapable of getting involved. This is BS. Ask the groom what he thinks about things, figure out what’s important to him and let him own at least one thing about the day. Trust his judgement, because the more involved he is, the happier you both will be. I remember reading online “The wedding should not be a surprise party for the groom.” Don’t assume that he doesn’t care or that he’s too stupid or unfashionable to have an opinion! He’s marrying you; he’s obviously got good taste.

Photographer: Erin Johnson Photography
Reception Venue & Lighting: James J Hill Library
Event Coordinator/Designer: Ashley from Simply Elegant Bridal Consultants
Rentals & Linens: Apres
Flowers: Fleur de Lis
Dress: Andrea’s Vintage Bridal
Shoes: Kate Spade
Bridesmaid Dress: JCrew sweaters, skirts made by one of the bridesmaids
Bridesmaid Shoes: Nine West
Bridesmaid Accessories: Francesca’s
Groom Attire: Hubert White
Hair Stylist: Blowdry! Blowdry bar in Uptown
Caterer: Brasa Rotisserie
Transportation: Total Luxury Limo
Ceremony Venue: Temple Israel, Minneapolis
Officiant: Rabbi Jennifer Gertman

  • Egemen says:

    – Hi Ann.I love you work this blog post it great!I wanted to ask you about the Camera catbrialion profiles How do you install the Kodak Portra profile as all I can get at the moment are the standard Camera Faithful’, Camera Portrait’, Camera Landscape’ profiles etc.Looking forward to hearing from you soon,BenApril 11, 2012 10:13 am